Here’s something that will shock you:
“Scientists, including those under the employ of the carbon majors, already knew about the harms that carbon dioxide from fossil fuels posed on the climate as early as the 1930s, with 1965 being the latest year that the fossil fuel industry can claim ignorance of such knowledge.”
“The fossil fuel industry, including the carbon majors, engaged in measures to convince the public that the use of their products would not lead to significant harms…Through API, some of the carbon majors perpetrated massive climate denial campaigns.”
“Carbon Majors, directly by themselves or indirectly through others, singly and/or through concerted action, engaged in willful obfuscation of climate science, which has prejudiced the right of the public to make informed decisions about their products, concealing that their products posed significant harms to the environment and the climate system. All these have served to obfuscate scientific findings and delay meaningful environmental and climate action.”
Now perhaps you longtime ‘roundup readers will not be so surprised. But the source is nonetheless a pretty big deal:
These are the words of the Philippines Commission on Human Rights, finding that the 47 biggest climate polluters spent decades lying about their products to fight climate policy.
The report “is historic and sets a solid legal basis for asserting that climate-destructive business activities by fossil fuel and cement companies contribute to human rights harms,” one of the petitioners, Greenpeace South East Asia executive director Yeb Saño, told the Guardian. “The message is clear: These corporate behemoths cannot continue to transgress human rights and put profit before people and planet.”
And make no mistake, the industry isn’t letting up on the disinfo, as they need to cover for the fact that Americans are being left holding the bag while energy prices soar. As Bloomberg’s Kevin Crowley and Laura Hurst report: “Big Oil is raking in historic amounts of cash, but the windfall isn’t being invested in new production to help displace Russian oil and gas. Instead, executives are rewarding shareholders.”
The five biggest Western oil companies made $36.6 billion in the first quarter of 2022, “about $400 million in spare cash a day,” according to Bloomberg. And while they could use that money to bring down prices, BP CEO Bernard Looney instead told analysts that “discipline is the order of the day.”
They’re certainly toeing the line – the bottom line. Even as they cry foul, blaming Biden for allegedly creating a regulatory environment so unfriendly as to prevent them from ramping up production to meet demand, the industry continues to tax a hatchet to its workforce. As a BailoutWatch analysis published Monday showed, the 20 biggest fossil fuel companies in the US cut 15,000 jobs in 2021, even as demand rebounded from pandemic lows and companies enjoyed “record profits and increased CEO compensation”.
The industry is making $400 million dollars a day, and using its disinformation machine to try and convince the public it’s Biden’s fault energy prices are so high.
And it’s hard to see anyone stepping up to hold them accountable. After all, as the Philippines Commission on Human Rights, noted: “Fossil fuel enterprises continue to fund the electoral campaigns of politicians, with the intention of slowing down the global movement towards clean, renewable energy.”
That’s an investment that’s paying off.